The year 2017 started on a high for all the tech enthusiasts as CES, which is a global consumer electronics and consumer technology tradeshow took place in Las Vegas, Nevada from Jan 5-8, and gifted the world with quite a few tech innovations. Among those, one particular tech announcement that caught everyones attention was the unveiling of a new Wi-Fi standard, called TimeSync.
Released by the Wi-Fi Alliance, the new Wi-Fi standard makes wireless connections within the Internet of Things a reality and serves as a real threat to the capabilities of wired systems.
TimeSync is a new Wi-Fi feature that brings in synchronised operation and precise timing to wireless devices. It does so by aligning them to the same internal clock. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED TimeSync enables devices to tightly couple with each other through Wi-Fi connectivity and ensures the best quality output by providing sub-microsecond clock synchronisation.
According to Kevin Robinson, VP of marketing at Wi-Fi Alliance, this type of synchronisation makes way for properly synced audio and video playback wirelessly across a full surround-sound system.
As Wi-Fi becomes more and more planted in the connected home space, it has grown from just delivering Internet connectivity to connected devices to now moving into the interconnections between the components themselves, said Robinson talking to an Internet of Things daily.
Robinson believes that one of the reasons that Wi-Fi has been able to reach such heights of success and popularity, is that it serves as a very flexible and capable platform for other ecosystems, other technologies, to build on the top of it. Wi-Fi actually encourages the industry to continue innovating on the top of this very capable platform that it has provided them with.
Wi-Fi TimeSync brings standards-based technology to device synchronization and ensures a seamless experience to its users across a variety of components. Multiple wireless headphones, speakers, sensor devices, and video displays can provide precision output. The new Wi-Fi standard TimeSync operates in both peer-to-peer and infrastructure mode so as to provide flexibility when and where Wi-Fi networks are not easily available.
The main goal behind all this, is to bring a cross-brand standard to wireless devices. In order to make device manufacturers aware about TimeSync and how-to integrate its capability into their products, the Wi-Fi Alliance plans to launch a certification program for them later this year.
According to Robinson, the TimeSync feature was conceived not with an intention to act as a type of connection, but rather serve as a coordinating layer that can provide better experiences to the users. He believes it to be like an ingredient that has the potential of helping other technologies in applications perform better.
The Wi-Fi Alliance now boosts of having more than one flavor of connectivity tailored made to different use cases. It’s Wi-Fi ac, which was last updated in 2016, has been designed to deliver Internet access to wide areas and multiple devices, that too simultaneously. There’s also Wi-Gig, which was launched in October 2016, and brings short-range, but very high performance speeds. This type of connectivity has the potential of enabling wireless virtual reality experiences.
With about 8 billion Wi-Fi devices currently in use, the Wi-Fi Alliance soon plans to launch an indoor location-tracking capability, which would operate similarly to GPS and have an accuracy within a few feet.